Considering the amount of time we spend in the office and the intensity of reading that is involved on a continuous basis – both on the computer and reading of small print on documents – eye strain, headaches and visual discomfort are the most common office related health complaints.
The most obvious signs of eye strain are blurred vision, dry, irritated eyes, or headaches that become more severe while focusing at a computer screen. As these can lead to physical fatigue, poor concentration, loss of productivity, increased work errors and eventually deteriorating eyesight; here are nine useful tips to care for your eyes in the workplace.
Here are some tips on how to protect your eyes while in the office:
Don’t “overwear” or mishandle your contact lenses.
It is very important to follow the proper instruction of contact lens use. Misappropriate length of wear and inadequate cleaning of lens can lead to a variety of eye infections, including some that might even cause blindness. Your eyes will get drier the longer you wear your contact lenses. If you are expecting a long day at work, do remember to bring along a pair of glasses and wear it in place of your contact lens when your eyes gets too dry in the later part of the day.
Work in good lighting.
Office work is often visually demanding and has always required good lighting for maximum comfort and productivity. Try to angle your monitor away from light sources and windows, and make sure there is no light reflecting off the monitor, as this can also cause visual disturbances.
Adjust the brightness and contrast of your computer screen.
Adjust the display settings on your computer so the brightness of the screen is about the same as your work environment. Tweak the brightness and contrast according to your preference to provide the best working condition.
Take frequent breaks in between work to help rest the eyes.
It is important to give your eyes a break to prevent headaches, blurry vision and dry eye. Look away or close your eyes after every half an hour of computer work. If you have dry eyes, lubricate your eyes with lubricant eye drops, this will reduce blurred vision and fatigue. Your eyes will get drier the longer you spend looking at the computer. A strong draft from the air-conditioning increases this problem.
Increase font size of your computer screen to reduce eye strain.
Just remember that the smaller the screen means the bigger the eye health issue. Improve your reading experience by increasing the size of the font; this is helpful if you have to read long documents or spend hours entering data or editing on your computer.
Ensure your glasses/lens prescription is appropriate for close computer work.
You can also get anti-reflective coating on your glasses to prevent glare and lens reflection. Alternatively, depending on the amount of time you work at the computer, the kind of vision correction needed and your personal preferences, you may want to get a separate pair of glasses specifically for computer work.
It seems simple enough, but we often forget to blink, especially when staring at a computer screen! Consciously make an effort to blink often while working. This will provide your eyes with much needed nutrients and moisture. If dryness persists, talk to your optometrist about lubricating eye drops!
Adjust Your Workspace
The optimal distance between your eyes and your computer screen is 20 to 24 inches, or about an arm’s length away. The center of your screen should be about 10 to 15 degrees below your eye level. Looking downward is often reported to be the most comfortable for the eyes as well as for the back and neck.
Have periodic and thorough eye care examinations by an optometrist as part of a routine primary care.
Your visual abilities in everyday life influence how little or how much prolonged computer use will affect you. Conditions like farsightedness, astigmatism, and poor eye focusing can make computer eyestrain much worse. The eye doctor can prescribe corrective lenses to remedy your eyesight and reduce how badly the computer affects your vision. He can also recommend different methods of protecting your eyes while you use the computer.